Henry Cejudo has been calling out everyone under the sun since he won a second UFC belt. Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar, and even Valentina Shevchenko have been in Cejudo’s sights. But you haven’t heard him drop the name Joseph Benavidez at all. It just so happens that Benavidez holds a win over Cejudo, and is the top contender to the flyweight title at the moment. Joe B. wants that fight bad. Cejudo doesn’t seem to.
When UFC president Dana White was asked about what is next for “Triple C” following the Contender Series last night, he was blunt in his assessment - defend your 125-pound belt, or else (via MMA Fighting):
“Right now, we have some things playing out at 135 pounds. What we’d like to see Cejudo do is defend his title against [Joseph] Benavidez. Benavidez is ready.
“It’s the right thing to do. If he can’t, then he needs to give up one of the belts.”
Cejudo is currently on the sidelines rehabbing an injury he picked up in his win over Marlon Moraes for the bantamweight title. That will likely keep him out the rest of the year, but White reiterated his plans for the two divisions, and again said Joe B. is next:
“He needs to defend that [flyweight] title,” White said. “First of all, we’re playing some things out to see who’s going to be the next challenger at 35.
“Benavidez is ready to go. He deserves it and he’s got a win over Cejudo.”
Benavidez (28-5, 15-3 UFC) beat Cejudo via split decision in late 2016, and has won nine of his last ten fights overall. His only UFC losses have come at the hands of Demetrious Johnson and Sergio Pettis.